ZAGREB, Aug 13, 2020 – The We Can! the political platform said on Thursday that they would request that the law on Zagreb area post-quake reconstruction should provide for the establishment of a single, central institution to lead the reconstruction process, instead of six currently envisaged, so as not to diffuse responsibility.
MP and head of the We Can! platform Tomislav Tomasevic told a press conference in front of the government’s building that members of the platform had been to Dubrovnik last week to see how that city had been and still was being reconstructed.
The conversations held in Dubrovnik made them realise that it would be best to have one central institution in charge of Zagreb’s post-quake reconstruction, he said.
“… in our opinion, that should be an institute for the reconstruction of Zagreb and the surrounding area. Otherwise, the responsibility is diffused so everyone is responsible and in the end no one is actually responsible for the reconstruction,” Tomasevic said.
He reiterated that the bill that had passed the first reading envisaged six institutions that would deal with the reconstruction. According to him, a central institution should be jointly established by the state, the city and other counties, and all state and local institutions should send their best people to it.
Tomasevic thinks that the law on the reconstruction was “more or less” going in the right direction, but he underscored that the first reading had shown that there were many things to be improved, especially concerning social criteria, liens and the unclear status of people who had been paying for earthquake insurance.
He said that the platform had sent a written request to Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic that the holidays should end on August 19 so that work on the second reading of the bill on Zagreb’s post-quake reconstruction could start, but the parliament will start work after the summer recess on September 2.
Since they believe three weeks are enough to prepare the final bill, they call on the government to forward the final bill to the parliament for its second reading, at its first physical session.
“That way, we would have enough time to study the final bill, discuss it with professional associations, prepare amendments to improve it and have a quality law as soon as possible,” Tomasevic said.
The We Can! political platform expects that the status of people accommodated in a Zagreb student dorm will also be finally resolved, as well as that of people whose homes were marked with a yellow label and who are not entitled to subsidised rent.
MP Sandra Bencic (We Can) announced that they would request that the reconstruction institute should become the central institution to coordinate the entire process and that it should consist of members of different professions, as well as that it should be appointed by the parliament, not the government.
They will request that reconstruction-related measures be adopted by that institute instead of the government and that it propose the budget.
As for budget control, Bencic underscored that it was crucial to prevent corruption risks. Therefore, they will request that the law should provide for an independent supervisory body that would release, in real time, data on sources of funds, public procurement, tenders received, the number of tenders, concluded contracts and payments.